If you think -6 degrees Celsius is cold, imagine -6 degrees Fahrenheit.
Well, this is a picture of Siberia, but it looked like that when I looked out the airplane window on the way to Lincoln, Nebraska, but without the hills. It is mostly flat lands here, that's why the wind chills are SCARY!
It's pretty weird that nowadays, the first thing I do each morning is check the weather for the day and the temperature then. But honestly, once it hit -5 degrees Celsius, anything else below feels the same. It just feels like you're living in a fridge.
Snow, snow, snow! Everywhere!
I see snow pile up everywhere in Lincoln; Alexis is having all the fun in the world pushing me into the snow whenever there is a big pile close by. Those are piles as tall as one story buildings!
The people in the university said that this is the coldest winter in 20 years; it is not usually cold like that. Nevertheless, they gave us a 'warm' welcome, literally. Fill us up with (free) hot meals and drinks.
Leaving New York was like leaving Malaysia for the second time. I repacked all of my 'treasure' accumulated for 21 years into 2 suitcases of 46kg and lugged them down the streets of New York, through the subway. IT WASN'T EASY. I was going to call the cab, but Sophie wanted us to exercise (or maybe tear a muscle) and save $60. Man, if it wasn't for GOD's help I don't think we would have made it to the airport with 60 over kg of luggages.
My flight was a LONG and eventful one! I had to fly from JFK Airport in New York to St. Louis, Missouri then from there to Chicago O'Hare Airport, then fly to Lincoln, Nebraska. In between NY and St. Louis, I had a 7 hours transit. And since it was between 11pm to 6am, the city is close, I could only hang out at a bagel shop at the airport, the only shop opened 24hours there.
Thank GOD it was one of the few airports that had free wi-fi! But as I was going to facebook my time away, the bagel guy strike up conversations after conversations. Usually I would enjoy conversations with others, but it was 12am, I was tired and sleepy after being at JFK since 5pm, not to mention I was a small little Asian girl in the airport with few others.
But...we got to know each other anyways (more like I got to know his life story) then at 3am I thought I could finally be alone. Then! Came another Vietnamese dude who needs help with an officer because he couldn't speak English. He spoke limited Cantonese so I manage to understand him a little with my TVB Drama Cantonese training. Just when I thought I will be left alone again, the Vietnamese dude decided to be friendly and bought me a drink from the bagel shop and started talking to me. AHHHHHHH. So, I got to know his life story as well...
Time didn't fly by with 2 dudes telling me their life stories. It lasted the longest time possible until it was 6am to board my flight to Chicago.
One of the things I did most this past month is going through security checks! I went through those checks before boarding a plane, at the transit, going in Times Square on New Year's Eve, visiting Statue of Liberty and the list goes on. And it's not fun during winter because you have to peel of almost every layer on you - jacket, coat, scarf, belt, watches, shoes..
I miss the times in Malaysia when we can just say, let's go out, then grab our keys and wallet and go. Here, we have to make sure, MAKE SURE, we have everything before going out or we are gonna become blocks of ice. Every time I see a glove on the street somewhere, I label it as - TRAGEDY. Your fingers will seriously turn blue without a good pair of gloves. I experienced that, it scared me that I couldn't feel my fingers for quite a while. I think it's worst than sticking your hands in a bucket of ice, because the temperature is -25 degrees celsius. Alexis leaves our ice cream outside the window to keep it frozen.
Anyways, so, I arrived in Lincoln Airport at 1030am, thinking where has the plane flew me to while looking out the window. I seriously thought it was a cloudy day while looking out of the window in the plane until I saw roads on those 'clouds'. I went to the baggage claim area and couldn't find my luggage because it appears that the lady back in JFK tagged my bags wrongly! Next, I waited and waited and waited and NO ONE CAME TO PICK ME UP!!! I remember clearly filling up a form for a university rep to get me, but nobody came for the poor little Chinese girl T.T The airport was tiny, with few people. It was cold, and the snow was pouring outside. Not having a phone, I attempted to use a pay phone with the nickels I have in my pocket. But, I COULDN'T OPERATE THE PHONE. Perhaps it's because it has been a gazillion years since any of us have to use something like that.
In the end, I resolved to borrowing a stranger's phone to dial the only number I know - Alexis' hahahaha thanks lah friend :) I may not fully comprehend why GOD placed us back together but I'm glad to have you to kick start this new chapter with.
Life has been good here; GOD has been awesome as always. I praise and give thanks to GOD for this safe and good journey. I have absolutely no worries; strangely, I am more at ease compared to the times back in Malaysia. I don't feel homesick. I miss you people, ya, I really do but I know all is good with you guys back in Malaysia and that is good with me. A friend I met from Indonesia said she is foodsick, not homesick! I miss bak kut teh!
Classes will start on Monday, I'm EXCITED! I'm wondering what GOD has in store for me this 2010. No matter what, by faith I shall pursue His will and His ways; walking by faith and not by sight!